No Gender December: Should you be buying ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ toys this Christmas?

Wednesday 03 December 2014

Article by Mozo

An Australian campaign to stop Santa leaving gendered toys under the tree is gaining traction, following an endorsement from the Greens.

No Gender December

No Gender December aims to stop parents from purchasing gendered toys for their offspring this Christmas, instead buying Barbies for brothers and soldiers for sisters, in order to break down gender stereotypes.

The campaign has been organised by Play Unlimited, a group that lobbies for genderless toys to reflect a society that values gender equality.

Australian Greens Senator Larissa Waters has spoken in support of the campaign, which she believes is an important reminder about the long-term effects of gender stereotypes.

"At this time of the year, many of us are looking for children's gifts, and it's important that we think about how toys are being marketed to children," Waters said.

"The starkly separate aisles of pink and blue, catalogues categorising toys as for girls or boys, and advertising showing just girls or boys playing with particular toys, can seem harmless. However, setting such strong gender stereotypes at early ages can have long-term impacts, including influencing self-perception and career aspirations.”

However some have questioned whether the campaign is necessary.

Child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg told News Corp that the campaign was a “nail in the coffin of common sense,” saying that there is no research to support the claim that gendered toys negatively impact a child’s development.

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